When: Tue., June 30, 9:30 p.m. 2015
DESTRUCTION UNIT | TUE, JUNE 30
NEPTUNES PARLOUR, RALEIGH—Heat has a way of warping your mind. Bake in the sun long enough, and those ripples of light on the horizon might look like water. Bake too long at an outdoor concert, and the tunes get screwy, too.
Perhaps it's the Arizona heat, then, that makes the music of Destruction Unit so damaged. Adrift between Hawkwind's mythical churning, krautrock's exacting energy and the blunt-force savagery of straight-ahead punk, the longstanding Phoenix outfit—reborn with a mostly new lineup before the 2013 LPs, Void and Deep Trip—is bruising and immersive. Led by former Reatards member Ryan Rousseau, Destruction Unit contorts walls of burly guitars at unexpected angles. The sound is like a fit of rage so intense that your consciousness blurs. You focus on the smoldering fire of your anger and not on what's actually making you mad, negative impulses driving you more than mere logic. Maybe it's the temperature?
The desert, guitarist Jes Aurelius told the blog Delayed Gratification late last year, informs everything they do. They're also captivated by the freewheeling spirit of the Old West—"Living on our own terms and making sure we're one step ahead of the law is very much an everyday part of our lives," Aurelius said. But it's the intensity of the elements around them that seems to impact their music most.
"I purposefully leave my guitar and amp in the car every 120-plus degree day of summer," Aurelius added. "That's where the desert sound comes from. It's a very conscious thing."
"If Death Ever Slept," the lead single from Destruction Unit's forthcoming LP Negative Feedback Resistor, is a ferocious example of these powers. The relentless hardcore rhythm mutates beneath twisting distortion, lending a cosmic edge to the group's volatility. Though it's a catchy punk song at its core, Destruction Unit tears it apart, fashioning something new out of the remains. Black Zinfandel opens. 9:30 p.m., $8, 14 W. Martin St., Raleigh, 919-833-1091,www.kingsbarcade.com. —Jordan Lawrence